Lifecycle of a Cold

It's there but you can't tell yet...

You may well have the beginnings of a cold for a day or two before those first tell tale cold symptoms kick in – think a dry, scratchy sore throat, sneezing and a runny nose. These particular symptoms are thought to be caused by the virus infecting the back of the nose first.

You could already be spreading the virus to others

You can infect others with a cold two or three days before you realise you have it yourself but it is when the initial symptoms are at their worst that you are most infective to others.

Most colds are gone in a week

Typically cold symptoms last for around seven days although according to the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff some cold symptoms may persist for up to 14 days in a quarter of patients...

So looking on the brightside you have a 75% chance of feeling better within a week.

The outlook – another cold front coming?

The good news for all is that around two weeks after the infection you will start to produce antibodies that prevent you from catching that particular cold virus again.

The bad news is that there are around another 199 strains of cold virus, so you can pick up another one that you haven't had yet – and that could happen straight away.

Read on - Treating a cold